9. The Hermit: Not today, Facebook

At the time of writing, at least 63 people have died, and nearly 3000 have been wounded in the Lebanese city of Beirut as a result of an enormous explosion earlier today. If you are able to, please donate to the Lebanese Red Cross here.

There are a few cards I would associate with the current year 2020 so far. Definitely The Hanged Man, Strength, Justice, probably The Tower. And of course a lot of this year has felt like The Hermit.

Many of us have spent much of the year shut inside, and those who live alone will feel even more like a hermit. You might have heard people say you have to make the most of it: learn a new skill, get fit, start a new business. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been playing a lot of Animal Crossing.

Hermit-crab
Hermit Crab

There are of course, good ways and bad ways to spend time alone. The Hermit card represents taking time away from the world to introspect, to look inwards, and to avoid distractions. Becoming The Hermit means that The Fool is beginning to realise that all they need is their own self. Making lots of money and becoming successful are fine things, but beyond being able to live comfortably, The Hermit asks you to look inside yourself and ask if you are living authentically.

20200804_222128.jpg
Middle: Rider-Waite-Smith, Upper left: Sasuraibito, Upper right: Star Spinner, Lower left: This Might Hurt, Lower right: Modern Witch

I really love the Modern Witch depiction of The Hermit, because all I hear in my head when I see it is ‘not today Facebook!’ and I really relate to that. I used to get so angry when I used Facebook, because I would see people peddling MLMs, or telling cancer patients to use turmeric instead of chemo, and I would end up wasting hours in pointless arguments. Facebook isn’t a good place to debate. You see the most extreme opinions from people who are highly unlikely to change their viewpoints. The Facebook algorithm is designed to make you angry and sad. I haven’t been on the platform for a year now, and I’m a happier person for it.

Let’s look at a way that The Hermit’s energy can be corrupted.

Hikikomori is described by Alan Robert Teo MD and Albert C. Gaw MD as ‘a form of severe social withdrawal’. It’s culturally specific to Japan, and mainly adolescents and young men can be described as hikikomori. Generally, hikikomori spend most or all of their time at home, do not attend school or work, and often rely on their parents to supply them with food and shelter, well into adulthood.

2AK7DKF Hikikomori
Hikikomori

I’m sure there are people who could be defined as hikikomori outside of Japan. Sometimes things can be so stressful and overstimulating in the outside world, especially when you have a mental or neurological difference, that staying inside is predictable and peaceful. If you are having a panic attack or a meltdown, taking time to be alone in a quiet room can be incredibly healing.

This is where I believe the Tarot teaches us to have balance in our lives. There are times when being by yourself and looking within, rather than without is healthy and helps you to develop great coping skills. But beware of taking anything to an extreme, with this card, and every other in the deck.

Where can you use The Hermit to improve your life, and when is it less useful? Take time to think about this when you pull The Hermit, and may you have a peaceful day.

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